Avoiding Armageddon: Canadian Military Strategy and Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1963 (Google eBook)
The advent of nuclear weapons in the 1940s brought enormous changes to doctrines regarding the use of force in resolving disputes. American strategists have been widely credited with most of these; Canadians, most have assumed, did not conduct their own strategic analysis. Avoiding Armageddon soundly debunks this notion.
Drawing on previously classified government records, Richter reveals that Canadian defence officials did come to independent strategic understandings of the most critical issues of the nuclear age. Canadian appreciation of deterrence, arms control, and strategic stability differed conceptually from the US models. Similarly, Canadian thinking on the controversial issues of air defence and the domestic acquisition of nuclear weapons was primarily influenced by decidedly Canadian interests.
Avoiding Armageddon is a work with far-reaching implications. It illustrates Canada's considerable latitude for independent defence thinking while providing key historical information that helps make sense of the contemporary Canadian defence debate.